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16 Jan 1942
  • At Murmansk, HMS CUMBERLAND, Embarked Foreign Secretary, Sir Stafford Cripps, for return passage to UK and escorted return Convoy QP5 from Murmansk, Russia with HM Destroyers ICARUS and TARTAR. ww2dbase [Cumberland | Arctic Convoys | DS]
  • Clifton Cates was deattached from his temporary assignment to Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet. ww2dbase [Clifton Cates | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-402 attacked British troop transport Llangibby Castle of Allied convoy WS15 north of the Azores islands at 1115 hours, blowing off the rudder and killing 26. Despite follow-up attacks by Fw 200 aircraft, Llangibby Castle would reach Horta, Azores for temporary repairs. ww2dbase [CPC]
Australian New Guinea
  • Japanese aircraft attacked Rabaul, New Britain, destroying fuel stores, bomb stockpiles, and other facilities at Vunakanau Airfield. Two Wirraway fighters were scrambled to intercept, but they failed to reached the Japanese aircraft in time. 6 hours later, several flying boats followed up with an attack with fragmentation bombs. ww2dbase [New Guinea-Papua Campaign, Phase 1, Bismarck Islands | Rabaul, New Britain | CPC]
  • Winston Churchill, Dudley Pound, and Charles Portal departed Bermuda for Britain by air (Boeing 314 Clipper Flying Boat "Berwick", operated by the British Overseas Airways Corporation). ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | CPC]
  • The first clash between Japanese and British forces within Burma occurred when a column of the 3rd Battalion of the Japanese 112th Infantry Regiment was engaged by the British 6th Burma Rifles (plus two companies of the 3rd Burma Rifles and elements of the Kohine battalion BFF) at the town of Tavoy (population 30,000 and strategically important as it was the start of a metal road to Rangoon). By the 18th the Japanese had taken the town, having lost 23 dead and 40 wounded, but the morale of the defenders had been badly damaged and the Japanese column was able to move on to Mergui without serious opposition. ww2dbase [Invasion of Burma | Tavoy | AC]
Caroline Islands
  • Shokaku departed Truk, Caroline Islands and took part in Operation R. ww2dbase [Shokaku | Truk | CPC]
  • Japanese hospital ship Hikawa Maru departed Truk, Caroline Islands. ww2dbase [Hikawa Maru | Truk | CPC]
Hawaii Malaya
  • Japanese 4th and 5th Imperial Guards Regiments crossed the Muar River in British Malaya before dawn, forcing the Indian 45th Brigade to withdraw from Muar. ww2dbase [Invasion of Malaya and Singapore | CPC]
Norway Pacific Ocean
  • S-36 neared the coast of Celebes (Sulawesi), Dutch East Indies in the morning. At noon, she suffered a fire in the main motor auxiliary circulating pump. By the evening, she had entered the Makassar Strait west of Celebes. ww2dbase [S-36 | Celebes Sea | CPC]
Panama Canal Zone
  • USS S-44 arrived at Balboa, Panama Canal Zone. ww2dbase [S-44 | Balboa | CPC]
  • Japanese and Filipino-American forces both raced to capture Morong on Bataan Peninsula, Luzon, Philippine Islands. Both sides reached the town around the same time, but the Allies had detected the Japanese first. Taking the opportunity for a surprise attack, more than 20 American cavalry troops charged on their horses, dispersing Japanese troops. It was the last combat charge of horse-mounted American cavalry troops. ww2dbase [Invasion of the Philippine Islands | Morong, Bataan | CPC]
Russia United Kingdom
  • German bombers sank British minesweeping trawler HMS Irvana off Yarmouth, England, United Kingdom, killing 2. ww2dbase [Yarmouth, England | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 16 Jan 1942
German troops in the Demyansk Pocket unloading supplies from a Ju 52 transport, Russia, Jan 1942

16 Jan 1942 Interactive Map

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

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Famous WW2 Quote
"All that silly talk about the advance of science and such leaves me cold. Give me peace and a retarded science."

Thomas Dodd, late 1945

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